Lok Sabha elections: Setback for Congress, court refuses to stay Hardik Patel’s conviction in 2015 riots case

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Updated: March 29, 2019 4:07:49 PM

Hardik is the convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, who joined the Congress on March 12.

Hardik Patel, who joined the Congress earlier this month, moved the Gujarat High Court to stay his conviction in the rioting case. (File photo)

In a major blow to Congress party ahead of Lok Sabha polls, Patidar leader Hardik Patel will not be able to contest the elections after Gujarat High Court rejected his plea to stay his conviction in a 2015 riots case. The court on Friday rejected the plea of Patel, seeking suspension of his conviction in a rioting case in Mehsana.

Patel, who joined the Congress earlier this month, had moved the Gujarat High Court to stay his conviction in the rioting case.

The Patidar quota agitation leader had been convicted in a case of rioting and was sentenced to two years of imprisonment, which bars him from contesting an election.

Hardik Patel, the convener of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, joined the Congress on March 12.

As per a Supreme Court verdict, Hardik Patel cannot contest in the election as he has been convicted in a case by a court. The Representation of the People Act, 1951, also prohibits a person convicted in a case from contesting polls.

In July last year, the sessions court of Visnagar in Mehsana district had sentenced Hardik to two years of imprisonment in a case of rioting and arson in Visnagar town in 2015, when the quota stir of Patidars had started gaining momentum in Gujarat.

Although the high court had granted bail to him and suspended his two-year sentence in August last year, his conviction was not stayed by the court at that time.

(With inputs from PTI)

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